‘Fraud Day” speakers to present lessons to be learned from corporate fraud cases

Author: Carol Elliott

Three experts in corporate fraud will present their unique perspectives and experience as part of “Fraud Day” at the University of Notre Dame’s Mendoza College of Business. The event, which is free and open to the public, will take place 12:30-5:30 p.m. April 7 in Mendoza’s Jordan Auditorium.

Guest speakers include:

Weston Smith 26feb2012 WebWeston Smith, former HealthSouth CFO

  • Weston Smith, former CFO turned whistleblower, alerted federal investigators in 2003 to the massive accounting fraud perpetrated at health-care giant HealthSouth. Smith eventually was sentenced to 27 months in prison for his role – the longest sentence ordered for any of the HealthSouth defendants.
  • Andrew Richmond, litigation expert and vice president of Cornerstone Research in Chicago, has led independent forensic accounting investigations for boards, special committees and management.
  • Christopher Norris, a director at global interrogation training company Wicklander-Zulawski & Associates, is experienced in loss prevention and investigation, and conducted numerous investigations for both private companies and public agencies.

Each expert will speak individually, followed by a panel discussion with all three speakers.

A frequent speaker on ethics and integrity in business, Smith will describe the culture of the company that supported the fraud, the mechanics of how the unethical accounting was put into place and how detection was avoided. Smith also has a message for broader audiences “to simply do the right thing” — a challenge to live and work responsibly.

Richmond will present a provocative discussion on the role of forensic accountants in investigations, including a discussion of how fraudsters “cook the books,” as well as several fraud case studies.

Norris, who has questioned offenders worldwide, will be presenting an overview of the WZ Non-Confrontational Method of interview. The method is designed to provide the fraud investigator a strategy to address integrity issues and those involved in fraud. It reduces resistance from the suspect, encourages honesty without confrontation or presentation of any evidence developed through the investigation.

The event is sponsored by the Center for Accounting Research and Education (CARE), an academic center at Mendoza that seeks to strengthen the bridges between accounting research, education and practice. CARE sponsors multiple research endeavors, including an annual conference that gathers industry, governmental and academic thought leaders from across the globe to discuss current issues in accounting.

Contact: Lorie Marsh, program manager for the Center for Accounting Research and Education, lmarsh1@nd.edu